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Obama, Clinton trade accusations on campaign strategies

Ahead of crucial Tuesday Democratic primary, presidential hopefuls Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have traded accusations relating more to campaigning strategies than policy issues.

world Updated: Apr 21, 2008 10:51 IST

Ahead of crucial Tuesday Democratic primary, presidential hopefuls Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have traded accusations relating more to campaigning strategies than policy issues.

A row erupted between the two when Obama remarked that Republican presumptive presidential candidate John McCain will be better than President George Bush but that he and Clinton would be better than McCain.

"You have a real choice in this election. Either Democrat would be better than John McCain," Obama said to cheers from a rowdy crowd in central Pennsylvania.

"And all three of us would be better than George Bush," he added.

The statement did not go well with Clinton who blasted Obama, asserting that the Democrats are looking for a candidate who will take on McCain and not cheer him.

Giving her assessment, Clinton said McCain would follow the failed foreign and economic policies of Bush.

Analysts with access to the party top brass say they too are worried by Clinton's remark as it could adversely impact the party presidential campaign after it chooses its own candidate.

Till now, Obama had maintained the position that election of McCain would mean a third term for President Bush as he would continue to follow Bush's failed policies on Iraq and economy. The calculation of the Obama campaign in changing the line was unclear.

But Clinton pounced upon those remarks which, some analysts say, could undercut his efforts to close the gap between him and Clinton on eve of the primary.

On his campaign trail, Obama repeated his assertion that Clinton would say anything to win votes and tell the masses what they want to hear.

But Clinton retaliated saying the Obama campaign is taking a different position from him and hence no one is sure whom to believe. That would not happen in her case, she told audiences.

However, the voters heard little about the major issues confronting the country with an analyst pointing out that campaign had become personal.

Meanwhile, Clinton campaign accused Obama of using negative advertisements twisting her position especially on health care and health insurance.

Clinton was still running slightly ahead of Obama in the opinion polls but she needs a big victory to revive her flagging campaign and attract money.

Obama is reportedly spending more than thrice the amount on television advertisements compared to Clinton as she has not been able to raise money needed to confront Obama on his terms. That may effect the next primaries as well.